Mao: A Very Short Introduction (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Apr 25, 2013 - Political Science - 160 pages
2 Reviews
As a giant of 20th century history, Mao Zedong played many roles: peasant revolutionary, patriotic leader against the Japanese occupation, Marxist theoretician, modernizer, and visionary despot. This Very Short Introduction chronicles Mao's journey from peasant child to ruler of the most populous nation on Earth. He was a founder of both the Chinese Communist Party and the Red Army, and for many years he fought on two fronts, for control of the Party and in an armed struggle for the Party's control of the country. His revolution unified China and began its rise to world power status. He was the architect of the Great Leap Forward that he hoped would make China both prosperous and egalitarian, but instead ended in economic disaster resulting in millions of deaths. It was Mao's growing suspicion of his fellow leaders that led him to launch the Cultural Revolution, and his last years were dogged by ill-health and his despairing attempts to find a successor whom he trusted. Delia Davin provides an invaluable introduction to Mao, showing him in all his complexity; ruthless, brutal, and ambitious, a man of enormous talent and perception, yet a leader who is still detested by some and venerated by others. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Mao: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #345)

User Review  - Azzageddi - Goodreads

It is nearly impossible to write a sufficiently informing life of Mao Zedong in 100 or so pages. I give the author credit for trying. It is no slight on her that a lot was sacrificed in the name of ... Read full review

Review: Mao: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #345)

User Review  - Dawn Peers - Goodreads

I have a curiosity with all things Eastern culture and history, and not enough time to read full tomes on the topics that take my interest. I picked up this book on Mao for more of an insight in to ... Read full review


1 Becoming a revolutionary
2 Organizing revolution
3 Yanan
4 First years of the Peoples Republic
5 The Great Leap Forward and its aftershocks
its right to rebel
7 Decline and death
the posthumous Mao
Further reading

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information